Amazon’s Global Push Creates Direct Competition with Netflix

Amazon launched its global Prime Video service, pricing it under Netflix to compete in the subscription-video arena. This year, according to Cowen & Co., Amazon is on track to spend more than $3 billion on Prime Video content, compared with $6 billion by Netflix. In addition to its Amazon Studios originals, the program line-up for its international Prime Video offering will include hundreds of movies and TV shows, varying by country. Licensed movies include “Jurassic Park,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Gone Girl” and others. Continue reading Amazon’s Global Push Creates Direct Competition with Netflix

Amazon Promotes its Series Pilots on YouTube and Facebook

Amazon Studios unveiled a promotion on its YouTube channel and Facebook page, aimed to garner more Prime subscribers: free viewing of the pilots of 10 original series. Among the pilots being made available on the social media platforms are the critically acclaimed, transgender dramedy “Transparent,” “Bosch,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Red Oaks,” and kids’ shows “Annedroids,” “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street,” “Just Add Magic,” “Tumble Leaf” and “Wishenpoof!” Continue reading Amazon Promotes its Series Pilots on YouTube and Facebook

Many Exhibitors and Studios Remain Wary of Screening Room

The first quarter of 2016 has brought some upbeat news to the movie industry, including the hits “Deadpool” and “Zootopia” which created a 12 percent uptick in box office compared to the same quarter last year. More long-term problems — stagnant attendance and the lure of Internet content — still threaten the bottom line. But what many exhibitors are really worried about is Screening Room, the brainchild of Napster co-founder Sean Parker, which offers first-run movies at home, at the same time they debut in theaters. Continue reading Many Exhibitors and Studios Remain Wary of Screening Room

Amazon Pursues Indie Film, Streaming TV and Virtual Reality

By foreseeing how the Internet would dramatically change the retail business, Amazon became the digital behemoth it is today. Now the company has turned its sights to the entertainment industry, volatile due to technology changes, and is taking a deep dive into prestige films, online shows and virtual reality. Amazon recently became a major player in independent feature distribution by spending top price for films at Sundance and elsewhere. Now it’s debuted a streaming TV show and is forming a team to build a VR platform. Continue reading Amazon Pursues Indie Film, Streaming TV and Virtual Reality

HPA Tech Retreat: Producing ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ in HDR/4K

Amazon Studios’ production “Mozart in the Jungle” is shot in 4K UHD and released in both standard dynamic range (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) versions. At an HPA Tech Retreat panel, “Mozart in the Jungle” associate producer Mike Weiss and Technicolor vice president Mark Smirnoff talked about the “snowflake” production of this Golden Globe-winning OTT series. “There are so many more deliverables and things that can catch you off guard, it really is a snowstorm,” said Weiss. Continue reading HPA Tech Retreat: Producing ‘Mozart in the Jungle’ in HDR/4K

Amazon Studios Looks Beyond Original Series to the Big Screen

Amazon announced yesterday that it plans to expand its original programming efforts by producing and acquiring movies for theatrical release and distribution via Prime Instant Video. In a significant departure from the traditional windowing system, the films are expected to be available for streaming in the U.S. 4-8 weeks following their theatrical debuts (movies normally have to wait 39-52 weeks before streaming). The move is part of Amazon’s plan to grow its entertainment arsenal while competing with Netflix. Continue reading Amazon Studios Looks Beyond Original Series to the Big Screen

Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

Online streaming continues to make headlines — from notable CES announcements (including upcoming HDR support from Netflix) to Golden Globe wins for “Transparent” and “House of Cards.” In the wake of Amazon unveiling its full lineup for the next pilot season and Netflix revealing a planned reboot for cult comedy “Wet Hot American Summer,” it looks like Woody Allen fans may also have a reason to celebrate. The iconic writer, director and performer has been tapped to create his first series, which will premiere exclusively on Prime Instant Video. Continue reading Amazon Studios Orders Full Season of First Woody Allen Series

Amazon Studios is Determined to Compete with HBO Originals

Amazon Studios entered the original programming business with the intent of developing quality content on par with that of premium networks such as HBO. Programming of HBO caliber however, is not possible without the necessary financial commitment to help producers. “There was never any need to go back to them (to ask for more money)… You don’t worry they’ll say, ‘Let’s do it for less,’” says creator Garry Trudeau of his experience with the studio on its debut hit, “Alpha House.” Continue reading Amazon Studios is Determined to Compete with HBO Originals

Amazon Aims to Make Prime Instant Video a Major Competitor

Amazon Studios, the production arm of Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service, hopes to challenge Netflix with compelling original series. The studio greenlit several shows to debut later this year, and viewers will get the chance to view pilots for another set of prospective shows in the next few weeks, including a drama by Whit Stillman and a comedy produced by Steven Soderbergh. Amazon takes feedback from viewers into consideration when selecting new shows. Continue reading Amazon Aims to Make Prime Instant Video a Major Competitor

Amazon Preview: Viewers to Steer Movie Concepts, TV Pilots

Amazon Studios has launched a program that brings viewers into the development process. Amazon Preview asks consumers to view its pilots, test footage, concepts and storyboards to provide feedback on general interest and how to improve content. The program intends to help Amazon Studios carefully direct its resources and launch pilots that are better received. Amazon has already invited viewers to weigh in on its new shows, but the new program is an expanded, more selective effort. Continue reading Amazon Preview: Viewers to Steer Movie Concepts, TV Pilots

Amazon to Release First Original Series for Video Streaming

The first of Amazon’s original series will debut this month, and the selection process by the retail giant for determining which shows made the cut is unlike any traditional decision-making most networks go through. Amazon is minimizing risk by assessing data outlining early viewership for a group of pilot episodes, and “Alpha House,” a political comedy written by “Doonesbury” comic strip creator Garry Trudeau and featuring John Goodman and Bill Murray, was the biggest hit. Continue reading Amazon to Release First Original Series for Video Streaming

Amazon Widens Call for Movie Projects with Concept Videos

Amazon Studios announced that it is expanding its call for original content to include short concept videos for development options. On the heels of green-lighting its first slate of shows, and launching its new Amazon Storyteller storyboarding tool, the studio is soliciting concept vids that offer compelling ideas for theatrical feature films. Filmmakers can submit videos up to 15 minutes in length in hopes of joining the studio’s film development slate. Continue reading Amazon Widens Call for Movie Projects with Concept Videos

Amazon Orders Original Programming for Subscription Service

Amazon has ordered two live-action comedies and three children’s shows to be offered on its subscription service Amazon Prime. The original programming was selected from 14 pilots the company made available to subscribers last month, from which customer reactions helped guide the selection process. The new series include a political comedy starring John Goodman and a show about a group of friends looking to launch the next social networking app. Continue reading Amazon Orders Original Programming for Subscription Service

Zombieland: Amazon Announces Original Comedy Series

As part of its new initiative to offer original content, Amazon has announced production of a comedy series based on the Columbia Pictures film “Zombieland.” The series will have the same name and will be available for free to subscribers of Amazon Instant Video and LOVEFiLM. This marks the seventh original comedy series added to the new lineup from Amazon Studios, which will also feature six pilots for children. Continue reading Zombieland: Amazon Announces Original Comedy Series

Amazon Studios Expands its Reach with Children’s Offerings

Amazon Studios announced last week that it has selected its first five pilots for children’s shows. Angela Santomero, the creator of “Blue’s Clues” is behind one, and the Jim Henson company is behind another. The remaining three include a series based on “The Wizard of Oz,” a science-based series from creator J.J. Johnson, and “Tumbleaf,” created by Drew Hodges and Bix Pix Studios. User feedback will help determine which shows will have a future. Continue reading Amazon Studios Expands its Reach with Children’s Offerings

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